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Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, February 14, 2005 - 10:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi, I bought a gaucho leather bracelet in Calafate for my son. It is a leather woven bracelet to be worn around the wrist. I was told that the gauchos use animal fat to keep it from drying out. He would like to know the story behind it.

Can you help?
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Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, February 14, 2005 - 10:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Carol, I am afraid that what you describe is just a typical ornament produced by leather artists who are in abundance in Argentina. Using animal fat to keep the leather 'oily' is an old trick of 'talabarteros', artisans who would produce leather goods as such. There are still plenty of talabarteros all over Argentina. And many, still work the leather by hand (my grandmother was one) with only a few tools and aids. The origin of this occupation could be tracked to the days when Buenos Aires and the Pampas were influenced by the rich landowners who required these leather goods, sometimes because of real farm needs (cattle, etc).

Many leather goods were created to suit horse riding and such. Talabarteros were in great demand during Argentina's earlier years. This occupation flourished when the typical mode of transportation were horses, like in carriages. Talabarteros produced anything from leather boots, to horse seats and everything in between. The final product was as cheap or as expensive as the perceived social status of the final consumer was.

Back in the days when Conquistadores reached these lands, common knowledge was that the lands themselves were rich in silver. This is the origin for the name of our country -Argentina from 'argento'- and for the river whose mouth opens in Buenos Aires, Rio de la Plata (silver river). When leather became a staple for all goods produced in Buenos Aires (and later everywhere in Argentina), the combination of leather and silver was a no brainer, even after the settlements proved to be wrong regarding their silver forecasts. Below, are some pictures that are truly representative of the gauchos' lifestyle and art, or better yet, their bosses, owners of the ranches.


silver ornaments

Horse riding leather goods

Our gauchos page may have some information about this... Hope this helps.
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Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1998
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - 5:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

New thread about argentine gauchos. Follow the link.

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